Meet: Matthew Connelly, Give Lively VP of Product

Learn about Matthew Connelly, VP of Product at Give Lively.
November 14, 2023
Clair Lofthouse
Technical Writer

From time to time we will profile members of the Give Lively team, revealing more about who we are, what we do and how we fit into a mix of dedicated and dynamic engineers, creatives, strategists and advocates helping nonprofits do more with digital fundraising tools.

Like the person who is the focus of this week’s profile, the full Give Lively team is passionate about using tech for social good and providing a better fundraising experience to nonprofits and donors.

Matthew Connelly

What do you do at Give Lively?

I’m the VP of Product at Give Lively, and have been here for almost six years. Initially, my role involved bringing particular features and products to life within our platform. Now, I focus primarily on the larger ecosystem – the big picture view of our platform and products – and aim to make sure we’re pointing our ship in the right direction to capture the most value for our nonprofit members and organizations.

What does a day in your life at Give Lively look like?

Every day has a slightly different flavor depending on what stage of product development we’re in. Everything starts with listening to the nonprofit community’s pain points and prioritizing the ones we’re uniquely suited to solve. Some days, my incredible product team and I work to formulate a roadmap of problems to tackle. Other days, I work with our product design team to create drafts of user experiences that address these issues, and get feedback from nonprofits. Once we align, I meet with the engineering team to discuss the proposals and then plan and architect technical solutions for our platform. I introduce that work into our biweekly project plans and eventually collaborate with our marketing and customer support teams to launch the new feature when development is complete. From there, I participate in analyzing the success of our products, prioritizing bug fixes and listening for feedback. The cycle then repeats, either iterating on an existing product or centered around a new opportunity.

What do you like to do outside of Give Lively?

I’ve taken a huge interest in fitness ever since the pandemic, initially in an effort to avoid atrophy while in quarantine. This has taken the form of running, HIIT classes, boxing and resistance training, with fledgling plans to compete in some form in the future. 

I also have a love of theater, having minored in it during college and performed in some plays, improv comedy shows and student films in the past. These days, I just love going to shows as an escape.  

In addition, I’m a big nerd – Star Wars, Marvel, Harry Potter, you know. Anything sci-fi related has a good chance of stealing my attention.

Otherwise, I enjoy spending time with my wife, friends, family and two cats (Gimli and Luna) in Brooklyn, New York!

What excites you about Give Lively? 

Throughout my life, I’ve benefited from models similar to Give Lively’s, primarily in my education. Both my high school (Regis High School) and college (Macaulay Honors College) offer free tuition after rigorous academic screening, all funded by generous benefactors. Increasingly, alumni also donate back to these institutions to help supplement the funding model – a partnership that continues to afford students these amazing, free opportunities. Joining Give Lively has given me the chance to directly impact an organization with a related funding model, one that has brought so much to my life. It makes me even more passionate about bringing as much value as I can to the nonprofit community.